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  • I don't know but I want it to be a cousin of the platypus.

    November 21, 2008

  • . . . and me sitting between them going mad because I am a doctor and a collector and a talker of Latin, and a sort of petropus of the twilight and a physiognomist that can't be flustered by the wrong feature on the right face . . .
    —Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

    I don't know what this means. Not in the latest revision of the OED, though they do quote from Nightwood elsewhere. Does the drunken Irish doctor mean he is some kind of stone-footed creature, or is this a reference to the Petropus genus of flying foxes, or what? I can't find any English other use of the word apart from the genus and this quotation.

    November 21, 2008